MOḤSENI, Akbar

MOSENI, Akbar, (b. Tehran, 1291 Š./1912; d. Tehran, 1374 Š./ 1995) composer and prominent performer of the Ud (lute).

Moseni’s father was an artillery officer who did not care much for music. Akbar, however, was a music enthusiast from childhood, and after the death of his father joined the military conservatory (madresa-ye musiqi-e neām) where he studied the fundamentals of music. The first instrument Moseni studied was the viola; he then studied the trumpet, and later the flute. While attending the military academy, Moseni also studied the Persian repertoires (radifs), as well as the tar (a plucked long-necked lute) and the tarbas (a variation of the tar) with one of the students of Musā Maʿrufi, the master musician and renowned performer of the tar. He was later hired by Vezārat-e Farhang (Ministry of Education, presently called vezārat-e āmuzeš wa parvareš) as an instructor of music.

With the establishment of Radio Tehran, Moḥseni joined as a member of its orchestra, and when the National Music Society (Anjoman-e Musiqi-e Melli) was formed, he joined it as well and played in the orchestra conducted by Ru-Allāh āleqi. Moḥseni was later sent to Iraq by the Ministry of Education to teach music to the students of the Iranian schools there, and to conduct a fact-finding study of the ud. Moḥseni stayed in Iraq for four years teaching music and carrying out research on Egyptian and Iraqi uds, their structure, and the various techniques by which they might be played.

On his return to Iran, Moseni presented a report to the Radio Tehran Music Council (Šorā-ye musiqi), which comprised Dr. Berkšeli, Mošir Homāyun Šahrdār (q.v.), and a number of other master musicians playing the ud before them. His presentation was acclaimed by the members of the Council, who decided to make use of the ud in the musical programs of Radio Tehran, assigning Moseni to perform in these programs. Thus the lute became Moseni’s principal and exclusive instrument.

Despite the fact that Moseni learned to play the lute in Arabic countries, his compositions were not influenced by Arabic music and were all made up of Persian melodies. Moseni composed some 400 pieces of music, two of the best known of which are a tanif (rhythmic song) called “Elāha-ye nāz,” performed with lyrics by Karim Fakur and the vocal performance of olām-osayn Banān, and the other entitled “Enteār,” featuring the vocal performance of Farah.

Bibliography:

N. addadi, Farhangnāma-ye musiqi-e Irān, Tehran, 1997, p. 526.

Š. Behruzi, Čehrahā-ye musiqi-e Irān, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1993.

(Morteżā Ḥoseyni Dehkordi)

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